In my family, we use the term, “good life decision” whenever we make a decision that ends up being the right one. You know, the type when you decide to put the important things first, and it ends up being the right thing. That life-affirming, soul-warming feeling you have when you sit back, and feel good about what you chose to do.
Today I made one of those choices, and quietly whispered to myself while driving home, “Good life decision Stephanie…good life decision.” Like usual, I woke up this morning with a mile long to do list and a full morning planned. I dropped off my first son, William, at school, ran a few errands, and was slated to go to the gym next. Charlie (my second son) was sitting in the back seat, chattering. I felt a tug in my heart, listening to him so patiently wait for me to be done with my list, riding along with me as I worked through my morning. My mama instinct told me that I should set aside my plans to spend some one-on-one time with him. For those who know me, I rarely set aside my workouts since being consistent on my daily core activities is very important to me. I felt like I would be throwing in the towel if I heeded this tug. The thought occurred to me, “At the end of your life, are you going to be glad that you logged one more workout, or spent time with your son?” I knew the answer to that one. I knew we both needed to be refreshed, and like his mama, Charlie loves going to the ocean. Within minutes, I was cruising down HWY 101 with the windows rolled down singing our familiar tune, “Hello, Ocean”. I knew I was making the right decision. I knew a giant cup of coffee was in order, and was plotting the perfect spot for our little date when I spied a French Café that I’ve been wanting to visit for the past year. I quickly veered off the road. The café proved to be just as quaint as I envisioned – filled with pastries, local coffee and a fluffy dog. We sat on the patio, under the shade of the bright yellow umbrellas and I watched as Charlie savored his very first madeleine. His smiles affirmed that I made the right move.
We continued on to one of our favorite beaches, where Charlie happily played on a nearby playground. Within a few minutes, we gravitated toward the ocean - like we always do - to search for rocks, shells, and the occasional crab. I felt so good to just be – not to be planning the rest of my day or which task I would work on next. Just to walk along the shore and watch Charlie smile, roll in the sand, and chase birds. I made a point to notice the little details…his toes in the sand, the way his chubby cheeks make his eyes squinty when he smiles, and his little chatter. I realized that these moments - this age - is fleeting. He’s still small enough to be able to stand between my legs, weaving in and out as the waves lapped around our feet. We played with seaweed (and discovered that you can pop kelp like bubble wrap!) and attempted to make a sand castle. When it was time to go, I picked Charlie up, held him close, and bid the ocean farewell. I remarked, “Wasn’t that fun, Charlie?” and he immediately repeated, “Fun!” It was the first time he ever said the word. I couldn’t help but wonder how many moments I’ve missed out on by barreling though my day, attempting to stay on task. I could have stuck with the plan and accomplished my workout for the day - but I would have missed out on this little moment and hearing him repeatedly say “Fun!” for the first time. As I drove home, I was grateful for making the good life decision - choosing the important thing - choosing to put life first. More than anything, I want to have a life well lived, and even though fitness is a big part of my life, it’s not my whole life. After all, the primary reason why I choose to exercise is for my family - to be the healthiest, best version of myself. Today, it was well spent on the beach with my little boy. Good life decision.
You Got This,